Posted 08/08/2013 06:18 PM ET
Justice: The wife of a Fort Hood survivor claims the Defense Department is "slapping victims with gag orders" and telling family members not to talk to the press following testimony in the trial of Nidal Hasan.
One of the great scandals of the Obama administration has been its shameful designation of the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at the Army base in Killeen, Texas, by Maj. Nidal Hasan as "workplace violence."
It has only compounded the pain and suffering of the victims and their families who have now apparently been ordered to shut up about it.
Thirteen people were killed, 14 if you count the baby being carried by a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre Fort Hood, where Hasan, a self-proclaimed "soldier of Allah," shouted "Allahu Akbar" and began shooting in defense of the Taliban.
Autumn Manning, wife of one of the survivors, Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, is claiming via Twitter that the Defense Department is "slapping victims with gag orders" along the lines of this: Don't talk to the press following testimony in the Hasan trial.
They are forbidden from discussing, among other things, their denial of benefits as a result of the Obama administration's designation of the slaughter as a case of "workplace violence."
Manning later clarified that the DOD's gag order applied only to witnesses, though she also claims family members were told not to talk to the press.
"(I) will say what I want (to) who I want," a defiant Mrs. Manning, whose husband was texting at the time of the terrorist attack, wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
"I am not in military (and) still have my 1st amendment rights (thank you) very much," she wrote in another tweet.
Shawn Manning was shot six times by Hasan and was still denied benefits that would accrue to a soldier injured in an act of terror or a battle overseas.
The "workplace violence" designation has cost him around $70,000 in benefits, Manning says. Meanwhile, Hasan has continued to receive paychecks over the past four years amounting to over $287,000.
Manning says he is about 80% recovered, though he still has a bullet in his leg and one in his back, and it hurts to walk a long way because of the bullet that went through his foot.
He also sometimes gets a sharp pain in his thigh when the bullet lodged in there moves around.
"Because the Army decided that our wounds were not 'combat related,' a number of benefits are being denied to the victims and their families, including certain health and disability ones," wrote Manning, in an op-ed Wednesday in the Washington Post,
"In some instances," he wrote, "the designation even resulted in victims receiving smaller salaries than we would have received during our deployment. As a reservist, I was making roughly $2,000 per month less than I would have in my private-sector job. The Army would have made up that difference had I been on deployment orders or had my injuries classified as combat-related."
The Obama administration's Fort Hood shame is compounded by the fact that, as in Benghazi, the deaths if Americans could have been prevented if clear warnings had been heeded.
For example, Sgt. Manning notes, the "FBI knew that Hasan was emailing with known terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, asking questions about religious martyrdom and expressing support for Awlaki's terrorist tactics. It did nothing."
The Army has said if Fort Hood was called an act of terror and not workplace violence, it would have prejudiced potential jurors and denied Hasan a fair trial.
Well, the survivors of Fort Hood are undergoing some trials of their own, and they're not fair.
President Obama ought to man up, instead of yukking it up on Jay Leno, and call the Fort Hood massacre what it was: an act of terror.